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The large, beautiful lake which the town overlooks is named after Dora Ann Drawdy (1819-1885). In 1846, Federal Surveyors named the lake " Lake Dora" after her, and in 1883, the small but growing town was named after the lake. Today, Mount Dora is home to around than 10, 000 people and retains a small town feel with many historic buildings still standing.
For an afternoon of peace and quiet relaxation away from the theme parks, Mount Dora is the place for you. As you wander around " downtown" , you will be amazed at how many craft and antique shops as well as eateries can be fitted into such a small place. We found a warm welcome in every establishment we visited. Straight through thetown runs the railroad. There are regular 1+1/4 hour train excursions (with on board guide) on the vintage train to the next town and back at a cost of $12 per adult and $9 per child. The town of Mount Dora partly grew due to the railroad linking the town to Fort Myers in the south and New York up country. That must have been some journey in the late part of the 19th & early 20th centuries. The original train station building is still standing and has been converted to use as the tourist information office.
For people interested in having fun or don’ t like walking, why not do the Mount Dora Segway Tour? After 30 minutes of training, you will control the segway machine allocated to you around the town starting alongside the marina, past the famous Mt Dora lighthouse (all of 35 feet tall) and over to Palm Island. Palm Island has a raised wooden walkway over the waters edge giving you a unique viewpoint of this beautiful lake. The tour lasts just over one hour. As Mt Dora is on a hillside, one advantage of the segway tour is you are not walking up and down slopes.
Another way of touring the town is by utilising the Mount Dora trolley. Located at the bottom of Alexander St, the trolley offers a hop on & hop off service.
For a different look at the lake and hopefully, spot some wild life, why not take a lake tour? Your knowledgeable captain will tell you lots more about the history of the lake and town.
Overall, there are many ways to see Mt Dora, each of them offering a different perspective, each enjoyable in their own way.
Mount Dora has been visited by past presidents including Eisenhower.
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